A 19-year-old Centralia man accused of raping a girl he was hiking with in the Seminary Hill Natural Area in July 2021 has been arrested and charged in Lewis County Superior Court.
At the time of the alleged incident, the victim was 14 years old and the defendant, Derrick R. Hamblin, was 17.
Hamblin was booked into the Lewis County Jail just before 11:45 a.m. on Sunday following a voluntary interview with a Centralia police officer, according to documents filed in Lewis County Superior Court.
The officer had scheduled the interview as part of an investigation into rape allegations made by the victim to a Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center employee on Oct. 27, 2022, according to court documents.
The alleged victim accused Hamblin of arranging to meet her at Washington Elementary School in July 2021 to walk on trails in the nearby Seminary Hill Natural Area. After walking approximately 2 miles of the trail, Hamblin allegedly “grabbed (the victim) by the arms and threw her on the ground” before proceeding to rape her, according to court documents.
The Centralia Police Department forwarded the case to the Youth Advocacy Center of Lewis County for a forensic interview “due to the nature of the crime,” according to court documents.
That interview was conducted on Jan. 4 and was delivered to the Centralia Police Department shortly after.
The Centralia officer reported “the forensic interview contained most of the same information that he had learned during his interview,” adding, “(the victim) again described the events but struggled to talk about it.”
The officer reportedly called Hamblin on Jan. 7 and arranged to meet him at the Centralia Police Department the following day “to discuss the incident,” according to court documents.
Hamblin reportedly changed his story multiple times during the interview, initially claiming he didn’t see the victim for the whole month of July 2021, then saying “he was getting a haircut,” then saying he did meet the victim behind Washington Elementary School “but that they never had any sexual contact,” per court documents.
Hamblin then reportedly said “the alleged victim was mad at him because he had assaulted one of her friends in July 2021.”
That incident involved Hamblin beating and threatening to kill an 11-year-old at a skate park in Centralia. Hamblin received a suspended 304-day jail sentence in September 2021 for fourth-degree assault and harassment convictions stemming from the incident.
When further questioned by the officer, Hamblin accused the victim of forcing him to have sex with her before allegedly admitting to having sex with her.
“When asked why he did not tell the truth from the start, Hamblin said he didn’t know and has problems remembering things,” according to court documents.
The interviewing officer reportedly told Hamblin “his story seems unlikely” and asked a series of yes-or-no questions about the incident that reportedly confirmed the victim’s accusation of rape.
Hamblin was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail immediately following that interview.
He was charged Monday with one count of second-degree rape, a class A penalty punishable by life in prison.
Given his relative lack of criminal history, a judge set Hamblin’s bail at $25,000 on Monday.
His arraignment hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 12.
The court has issued a protection order preventing Hamblin from having any contact with her for the duration of the case.